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Better organic bread From January 2008 newsletter

Better organic bread


A multi-faceted project will enable bakers to produce good quality bread using the maximum amount of sustainably produced UK organic wheat. More than 50% of the wheat required for the UK organic bread market is imported, because the domestic crop does not consistently provide flour that meets the needs of the organic baking sector.

Field trials with different spring wheat varieties at three sites are assessing the effects on grain quality of appropriate approaches to soil fertility management. Milling and baking trials are being used to assess the extent to which these effects are carried through to end product quality, and to optimise milling extraction rate, dough formulation and dough preparation procedures.

Initial trials have identified agronomic practices, consistent with organic production protocols, that increase yield and protein content, as well as the varieties of spring wheat that respond most favourably. They have also demonstrated that loaf volume and crumb brightness can be improved through changes to milling extraction rate and work input during dough mixing.

The project is sponsored by Defra through the Sustainable Arable LINK Programme and by HGCA, with 14 'grain chain' partners and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Contact: Richard Stanley
+44(0)1386 842004